The Political Science Department was formally established in 1955, within what was then the Department of Economics and Social Science, as part of a broad effort to develop research and training at MIT in the social sciences. The nucleus of a Political Science faculty had already been formed within the Center for International Studies, a pioneering, interdisciplinary research center working on American foreign policy and security issues, economic and political development in the Third World, Communist societies, and international communication. By 1958, a Ph.D. in political science had been authorized. Political Science became an independent department in 1965, offering an undergraduate major and a Master's degree, as well as the Ph.D.

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Recent Submissions

  • 17.263 / 17.264 U.S. National Elections, Fall 2012 

    Caughey, Devin (2012-12)
    This course provides a selective overview of electoral politics in the United States, with an emphasis on presidential and congressional elections. It examines the macro-level determinants of electoral outcomes as well as ...
  • 17.561 European Politics, Fall 2011 

    Thelen, Kathleen (2011-12)
    This course examines the organization of political power and the dynamics of political change in Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. In particular, it focuses on the structure of political power within the state, and on ...
  • 17.565 Israel: History, Politics, Culture, and Identity, Spring 2011 

    Eiran, Ehud (2011-06)
    The course provides the students a basic understanding of modern Israeli history, politics, culture and identity through lectures, discussions and projects. Among the topics to be explored are: ideational, institutional ...

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